Today’s Daily Reading is an excerpt from Morgan Snyder's new book, Becoming a King
“What does a man need to survive?” I posed this question years ago to my very young son as we were headed out on an adventure.
After careful and honest consideration, he responded, “A wallet and a phone.”
It was brilliant. And painful. Brilliant because of his perceptivity about our culture, painful because the culture in which my kids are being raised gives the false perception that his response is true. Aldo Leopold, in A Sand County Almanac, offered a thought that implied part of the antidote to a world without men. “There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other is believing that heat comes from the furnace.” Something in us recoils. Right. These spiritual dangers have become institutionalized norms in our technological age. Anything you need you can order online, even get it shipped for free in one day via Amazon Prime. All that’s required is a few clicks. Yet in this age of über-convenience, something inside us grows soft, atrophies, and dies.
How do we avoid the spiritual dangers Leopold described? Dang, it’s hard. After all, most days it feels like heat does come from the furnace and our breakfast does come from the grocery. And on any given day, doesn’t it feel true that what we really need to survive are a wallet and a phone?
After years of choosing to risk responding to God’s initiation of my soul and moving toward parts of me that remained untrained and untested, last night we bucked that trend. With elk steaks hot off the grill and a roaring fire from freshly split Colorado aspens gleaned with our own hands and chainsaw, something was healing in my friend and me and in our kingdoms. We avoided—at least for a moment—the spiritual dangers of which Leopold warned. For a moment, something was restored, strengthened. Our food hadn’t come from the grocery; our heat hadn’t come from the furnace. It took time to reverse the trend and recover these atrophied places in our masculine soul. It required consenting to initiation uniquely scripted by God. And it was good, really good.